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Sand Dabs

Does anyone know a good place to get sand dabs on the west side?

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  1. Trader joes has them but they're frozen.

    1. I've purchased them at Whole Foods in the past but they were never completely deboned.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Fru

        I'd never expect them to be, either from a fish market nor in a restaurant. All the ones I've either cooked or been served have been on the bone; if cooked properly, the meat slides right off the ribs.

        Anyway, this not being the Home Cooking Board, I suspect the OP is asking where she might be SERVED sand dabs on the west side. As I do not inhabit that area, but occasionally find myself there in a state of hunger, I'm awaiting some answers too.

        1. re: Will Owen

          I suspect that places that serve them without bones cook them on the bone, zip the bones out and reassemble them on the plate (remarkably easy to do). I'm not sure it's possible to debone a raw sand dab, at least, not unless you're a master fish butcher.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Yes, and dead easy to do after they're cooked. Regular table knife is the best implement - how conVEEENient!

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              actually, i don't think that's how they do it. the piece comes in light egg-bound breading--not something that could be done with a cooked fillet. but i would love to watch them because it does seem like boning a sanddab would be like filleting air.

              1. re: FED

                I can't help thinking you'd run the risk of wasting some meat, and heaven knows there's not t lot to start with! But I guess if you're good and your knives are as sharp as they're supposed to be... and I barely qualify on either count!

                1. re: FED

                  The sand dabs at Le Petit Cafe are NOT breaded.

          2. Ocean Avenue Seafood has them on its lunch menu, sauteed, from Oregon, for $16.95. I didn't see them on the dinner menu, but you could call and ask them to save you an order.

            1. I'd like to expand this question to include where to find the best sand dabs in all of LA.

              Mr Taster

              4 Replies
              1. re: Mr Taster

                BTW, long gone but I had Sand Dabs regularly at Jean's Blue Room with never a bone. I believe I've had them at Cafe Bizou as well. Again, no bones but didn't include this in my original post because of original posters parameters.

                1. re: Fru

                  I've had'em at Cafe Bizou, and remembered them as having come on the bone. I am however heading into my doddering dotage, and fully capable of remembering lots of stuff very vividly that never happened, so I'm sure the opposite is equally likely. I do recall my last ones there being on the edge of, um, ripeness, however.

                  I think Central Park in Pasadena has dabs as good as or better than Bizou, and I think cheaper.

                  Back more westerly, if not exactly west side, is this not something you'd expect Musso & Frank to have?

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    I don't know about best, but sand dabs are usually (if not always) on the menu at King's Fish House in Calabasas. I have had them a couple of times and they were good, but usually I can't get past the oysters at King's and so have not had the dabs in recent memory.

                  2. Clancy's Crab Broiler in Glendale has pretty good one's on there menu.


                    Clancy's Crab Broiler
                    219 N Central Ave, Glendale, CA 91203

                    1. The sand dabs served at Le Petit Cafe on Colorado @ Yale in SM are the very best! They're sauteed in butter and served with delicious mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies. I CRAVE these sand dabs in my dreams!

                      2 Replies
                        1. re: mnosyne

                          I can't believe I've missed having them there, except they might not have them at lunch, which is when I'm usually at that place. I will make a point of getting them next chance I have.

                        2. You can get tasty Sand Dabs at Peppone's - 11628 Barrington Ct - West of the 405 - off of West Sunset.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: omakase

                            Did not see this when I posted. Peppone's are really good. Peppone's itself is a cool place. Kind of like a more subdued Dan Tanas.

                          2. I've had them at James Beach in Venice and thought they were tasty :)
                            They're served with spinach and golden raisins - great combo!


                            1. They also serve them at Chez Mimi in Santa Monica, or at least they did the last time I was there.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: mollyomormon

                                Absolutely!! I've been to Chez Mimi a zillion times and they are always if not on the menu, on special!

                              2. I used to always get them at the Daily Grill, but I haven't been to one in years, so I don't know if they are still on the menu.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: SaltCod

                                  As long as they're on a menu, they're unlikely to fall off. These things are like catfish in Tennessee - relatively cheap and plentiful, dead-easy to cook, consistently popular, a great little money-maker. The only downside is trying to find them to cook at home, since the restaurants suck up so much of the daily catch. I've had to make do with grey or Petrale sole quite a few times.

                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                    Sanddabs, of course, are young petrale sole.

                                    1. re: condiment

                                      Didn't know that - very few of the seafood books I have even mention them, and none of those say that. I have had fish-counter workers tell me that whatever they have in stock is really "the same thing" as sand dabs, which I take simply as a ploy to sell me some fish, and of course they're all easy to cook and nice to eat.

                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                          1) sand dabs are not at all "young petrale sole". someone's been pulling your fin.
                                          2) sand dabs are extremely close to rex sole and at times when sand dabs are scarce, rex sole is often substituted (sand dabs, though they are in no way threatened, are caught deeper in circumstances that are often affected by fishery closures), rex sole is caught in shallower water that is not so often posted.
                                          3) (ETA): King's often has sand dabs, but off the bone, which makes them not really sand dabs at all, IMHO. Frenchy's Bistro has them, too. There used to be a weird place in Seal Beach called the Glider Inn, which had great, true sanddabs (and deep plywood booths and model airplanes hanging from the rafters). sadly, it has been replaced by a yuppie bar.

                                          1. re: FED

                                            You can request to be put on the list at Malibu Seafood, and they will call you when they have sand dabs. They are on the bone!

                                          2. re: Will Owen

                                            Regarding what sand dabs actually are...

                                            Digging up an old sand dabs post I started in 2005.


                                            Mr Taster

                                      1. re: SaltCod

                                        I had them at the Daily Grill in El Segundo last week and didn't think they were very good at all. May have changed over the years. Mostly tasting of butter... which I guess isn't the worst thing in the world :) Just a bit too much though.

                                      2. Joe's in Venice has them on their lunch menu and they do a great job. Served off the bone, lemon butter with baby shrimp. The best.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Baron

                                          Lilly's Cafe in Venice often has them as a lunch special. They are very good there.

                                        2. I had forgotten about Sand Dabs for years until we went to Kings, as it happens, in Laguna Hills. They're usually on the menu and very fresh and delectable. If there's a Kings on the West Side, you might get them there. They're as good as I remember and I usually have them every other time we go out to eat seafood. Kings has high quality fish, a mid-range price and their sourdough bread tastes like the old San Francisco type. They know their fish. They own a number of different restaurants including Water Grill, one of the better seafood place in L.A., so here's their url: http://www.kingsseafood.com/restauran....

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: EclecticEater

                                            There is no King's on the west side, as far as I know. Probably the nearest one to the west side is in Calabasas -- not grotesquely far if you go up PCH to Topanga Cyn Blvd., then over Topanga to Mulholland, then left on Mulholland to Calabasas. Not bad if the traffic is OK. And Eclectic right about King's -- high quality, decent prices. They also usually have 6 varieties of oysters, and I have never had a bad one there. MMMMmmmm ... oysters.

                                            1. re: ozhead

                                              What about Ocean Ave Seafood and I Cugini? They're on the Westside. Aren't they part of the King's chain? or are we talking about a different Kings?

                                              1. re: Baron

                                                Right you are. Same family of restaurants http://www.kingsseafood.com/ but all the times we have gone to Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica I don't recall ever seeing sand dabs on the menu. I usually have them when I see them, too. I Cugini I have only been to once, so I can't say if they feature them or not.

                                          2. Santa Monica Market & Cafe, 1000 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica

                                            1. Peppone in Brentwood has very good sand dabs.

                                              1. We like them at Central Park in Pasadena, one of their better dishes and not at all expensive. Unfortunately, since they "have a face," Mrs. O will no longer eat them, which effectively prevents me from ordering them just to keep from making her suffer. Dang.

                                                We have also had them at Café Bizou (the Pasadena one); fish is as I recall just about what they do best. Last time we were there we were doing the low-carb thing and asked for no potatoes, so they doubled up on the very good haricots verts. That would be worth doing again.

                                                1. Musso Franks in Hollywood. They practically invented the dish.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: trimtab

                                                    The sand dabs at Musso are great. Portion is very large, so consider sharing if getting appetizers.

                                                  2. Joe's in Venice used to have them on the menu. I'm not sure if they still do, but I think it was one of their regular menu items.